Make an Electric Flickering Gaslight Lantern

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Introduction: Make an Electric Flickering Gaslight Lantern

About: http://www.youtube.com/c/AndrewWorkshop

This is a really cool build, I was inspired to make this flickering flame lantern after watching a video of Adam Savage build a prop gaslight lantern. They look like an actual candle flickering. My build is different than his in that I used 3D printing to make the mounts.

I made a few of these in a few variants for gifts. They are a real hit!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials

Tools

Step 2: Printing the 3D Mount Parts

What makes this build possible is a flame light bulb that fits a regular light socket. I removed the light socket base by prying it off, in that base also includes a small transformer that converts 110v AC to 5V DC. Since the LEDs run off 5V volts these lights will be powered by 3 AA batteries.

So to make this a clean build I designed in Tinkercad a mount that would fit the base of the light bulb so it would snap in place. I 3D printed the parts off in PLA and here is a link to the STL files: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4600563

I sized the mount and corresponding outside square ring to fit the Ikea Borrby lantern. You can just design your own outside ring Tinkercad depending on the type of lantern you use if it's different than mine and reuse the inside light mount.

Once the parts were printed, I glued the round mounting ring to the top of the mounting base.

Step 3: Preparing the Lantern

The IKEA Borrby lantern I used for this build had clear glass panels, to make the light more pleasing to the eye, I frosted the glass using some spray on frost, other alternatives is to use some stick on privacy film. If you want to do any additional weather now is the time to do it. I also made another version of this lantern using a wooden lantern and gave it some additional weathering using some black spray paint.

On the base of the 3D printed mount, I mounted a small slide switch using two small pieces of 3D printed pieces using some Weld-On 16 glue.

Using some doubled sided tape I mounted in the base a triple AA battery mount, that will use used to power the light bulb.

The flame bulb was snapped fitted into the round ring and wire fed through the hole in the base.

The wiring is very simple, to the switch I soldered the + wire to the switch and soldered the + battery wire to the switch. The negative wire of the flame bulb was soldered to the negative wire battery mount. All the wire connections were covered with heat shrink tubing.

Install the AA batteries and test the bulb.

Step 4: Enjoy the Lantern

This was a fun and simple build., Check out my short video to see the build and the lantern in action as pictures don't show how cool these bulbs look.

Make it Glow Contest

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest

1 Person Made This Project!

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14 Comments

0
Jmac007
Jmac007

1 year ago

This is a great project. I ordered the bulbs from Amazon and they had changed slightly. The LED array is directly soldered to the circuit board. If you desolder the connections and pull the array off, the circuit board has a + and - spot. The voltage across these is about 6.5V. You can solder new wires to the + and - terminals on the array. Mine takes 4 AA batteries to provide the 6V.

0
Ulfson
Ulfson

1 year ago

Very nice project, description and result! It looks like there would be space to replace the 3xAA batteries with a few 18650 li-ions, a small bms-board, a 5 v converter and a charging port. Depending on how many and which 18650s you'd add, this could vastly improve run time and for a slight increase in build cost reduce hassle and cost of continously replacing AA batteries. 18650s could be harvested from old laptop or power tool batteries - especially if you put them in parallell and use a step-up converter for the led voltage. Just be careful when working with 18650 as they're not unknown to spontaneously combust if damaged or incorrectly handled.

0
CarlG49
CarlG49

Question 1 year ago

Looks like a great project.
How do you do it without a 3d printer?

0
ap91484
ap91484

Answer 1 year ago

Make a wooden stand and mount the bulb with hot glue. After connecting the wires, there is no need to take it off.

0
ap91484
ap91484

Tip 1 year ago

Instead of a regular battery case, you could salvage one of these led fairy lights with 6h/18h timer. Turn it on in the evening and it will be on 6 hours and then be off until the next evening. You don't have to remember to turn it off and the batteries will last longer.

0
Icelandian
Icelandian

1 year ago

Thanks. I'm working on a very similar project and tried a few of these "flame" bulbs, but they were either extremely dim or the LED board was integrated to the AC/DC converter. I'm going to give these a try. Im also going to wire it to a USB cord versus batteries since its 5VDC. Thanks again.

0
AlyssonR2
AlyssonR2

1 year ago

Nice build.

I made something similar a couple of years back designed to look like
a flickering ship's oil lamp. (Arduino, 12V power supply and a handful of
warm white LEDs - the circuitry is in the base).

There really is something so satisfying about a flickering lamp.

Lamp.jpeg
0
Myosotis
Myosotis

Question 1 year ago

That looks great!

Have you tested how long do they stay on?

0
AndrewW1977
AndrewW1977

Answer 1 year ago

Thanks! On a good set of AA batteries I estimate 36-48 hours. I haven't left them on continuously but I run them on rechargeable batteries. Instead of wiring it to a battery pack, this could be wired to a 5V USB power bank as well.

0
Myosotis
Myosotis

Reply 1 year ago

you're right!

I'm going to try it, thanks! :D

0
LucLussier
LucLussier

1 year ago

Results is so clean and impressive, nice work !

0
AndrewW1977
AndrewW1977

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks!